May 18, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Theatre Arts will present Body Awareness, a play by Annie Baker, as a lab theatre production May 21-23.
Set in a small Vermont town during Body Awareness Week at a fictional college, the play marked Baker’s Off Broadway debut. The story follows psychology professor Phyllis (played by Emily Hardesty ’18), her partner Joyce (played by Katelyn VanPetten ’16), and Joyce’s young adult son Jared (Isaiah Rosales ’19). Phyllis and Joyce suspect Jared has Asperger’s syndrome, but he refuses to see a therapist for possible treatment. Their houseguest, a middle-aged photographer named Frank (Tuxford Turner ’19), takes artistic photos of nude women, which offends Phyllis.
A New York Times review of the play’s Off Broadway appearance said the production “depicts the tensions that simmer and eventually boil over among its four characters as they gingerly step around one another’s tender spots – or, in some cases, cluelessly stomp all over them.” The play was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.
Illinois Wesleyan’s production is directed by Maggie Patchett ’16. Curtain is 8 p.m. each evening in the E. Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory Theatre, Ames Plaza, west side of Presser Hall. Tickets are Illinois Wesleyan’s production are $3 for general admission and $2 for students with valid ID, and are available during box office hours 12:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The box office phone number is 309-556-3232.